‘Be mindful of what you need’: The Skin Nerd’s Jennifer Rock and Aimee Connolly on self-care in lockdown
25th Mar 2021
At our health, beauty and wellness event, we asked the experts for tips on self-care and beauty regimes during the pandemic.
In conversation with IMAGE Editorial Director Dominique McMullan, Skingredients Founder & CEO Jennifer Rock, superintendent pharmacist Emily Kelly and beauty influencer Aimee Connolly discussed the best ways to mind yourself during the pandemic.
In a fun and informative chat, they shared their own experiences and tips for adopting a healthier lifestyle and prioritising self-care, followed by an informative Q&A from our viewers. Watch the full event below, or scroll down to learn more:
Self-care during the pandemic
Self-care is often misinterpreted, but it’s about setting aside some time every day for yourself and being mindful of what you need. This can be anything from dancing around the kitchen with the kids to pampering yourself with skincare to getting outside on a walk – whatever re-energises and recharges you.
One of the key steps to preventing burnout is to make this time a priority. In a recent study, almost 60 per cent of people said their health was affected by the pandemic and that’s versus 5.5 per cent of people in April 2020. So if you’re not feeling well right now, you are not alone.
1. Prioritise yourself
The hardest part of self-care is to make it a priority without feeling guilty. When you have a full house, try to set aside 15 minutes in the morning for yourself and rise before anyone else; it can make a massive difference to your day. If you have trouble calming your busy brain, set aside “window time” in the morning and evenings, to look out your window and enjoy the quiet. Or, if you enjoy cooking, invest time in making a meal that you (or your household) really enjoy. This is a great way to turn your brain off by focusing on a fun task.
2. Create boundaries between work and home
Sometimes the line between work and home is blurred, especially if you work a job with long hours right now. But it’s important to find a boundary that works for you. For employers, make sure your staff has supports available and try to create an engaging workplace culture – host step challenges, virtual social lunches, movie nights and regular check ins. Encourage your employees to not send emails after 5:30pm and give them the tools they need to be the healthiest version of themselves.
3. Find healthy ways to deal with stress
When you get overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to step away from the situation. For example, if you’re WFH and you’re stressed and find yourself shutting down, take a break. Go for a walk or ask your partner for a hug. If you take some time for yourself, this can help in a huge way. One thing we recommend is to pick up a treat to look forward to like a hair mask or a lovely candle, something you can use during your me-time.
One of the best ways to handle stress is to take care of your body, preventing wear down and overtiredness. Make sure you’re getting the vitamins you need:
- B vitamins are great for stress.
- Multivitamins like Revive Active can boost your immune system and energy levels.
- Magnesium helps you attain a deeper sleep and helps with muscle relaxation.
- Omegas are hard to get from your diet, but they can help your heart, skin, memory and skin hydration.
- Probiotics are good for the gut as well as your mental health.
- Vitamin D is vital; it helps with our immune system, minimises impact of respiratory disease and can improve your immune response to the Covid-19 vaccine.
- Vitamin C is great for your skin, helping create an even skin tone and boosting collagen production, and Vitamin A (in low doses) is a gamechanger in skincare too.
- Zinc is great for healing, especially with inflammation and redness caused by spots
Your mood can fluctuate, with good days and bad days, but if it’s becoming a problem it is important to seek help by talking to your GP or pharmacist. Here are some great supports available:
- The HSE has a free online stress control course.
- RCSI has a health and happiness course open to the public.
- McCauley Pharmacy also has a confidential healthline you can call and speak to a pharmacist at 1 800 839 909.
- Mental Health Ireland has a great guide called ‘5 Ways to Wellbeing’.
Self-care is different for everyone
Indulge in a beauty routine
People have started prioritising the skincare and beauty products that make them feel good. This could be anything from doing your makeup before WFH to incorporating a vitamin-infused skincare routine before bed.
Aimee Connolly recommends: Sculpted by Aimee Connolly Bronze Base self-tan drops – It’s very lightweight and helps your skin achieve that natural glow that we are missing from spending so much time indoors. An instant pick-me-up with no make up necessary.
It’s important to give yourself permission to do nothing. For some people, self-care is exercising or baking, but for others, it can be taking a nap or having down-time on the sofa. Whatever you choose, remind yourself that it’s okay to do what’s best for you.
What is the best eye cream for shift workers?
“Skin creams and serums can actually be pulled up and used under the eye area and are great if you want to eliminate that extra step. Skingredients skin veg and protein are clinically tested around the eye area and work great.” – Jennifer Rock
How can I hydrate my skin more to counteract the extra alcohol I’m consuming to get me through Lockdown?
“Spritzing throughout the day makes a big difference. Sculpted by Aimee’s Hydrate and Hold is divine for that. Also, your diet – make sure you’re giving your body the omegas, water and nutrients it needs to retain that moisture.” – Jennifer Rock
Do you have any tips on makeup for sensitive skin?
“Stay away from fragranced products if they don’t suit your skin. A mineral makeup is generally more suited to sensitive skin, like our second skin foundation. Try and do a test, seeing what your skin works well with and what it doesn’t, so you can learn how to treat it the best way possible.” – Aimee Connolly
Do you have any tips for perimenopausal health and beauty?
“It depends what the symptoms are that need to be treated – night sweats, hot flushes, vaginal dryness, mood swings. Talk to your pharmacist and she can recommend supplements that can help with those symptoms. For skincare, Vichy Neovadil is designed specifically for menopause and Meg’s menopause range has some great products for elasticity, hydration and collagen.” – Emily Kelly
Do you have any tips for dry skin during pregnancy?
“Watch out for salicylic acid and Vitamin A – those are what you’d normally go for but can’t during pregnancy. Codex has a great facial oil and Green Angel skincare also has beautiful hydration ingredients that you will see the benefit of long term.” – Jennifer Rock
Three products to quickly make me look presentable on Zoom?
“Brows, a hassle-free gel to make them look good; mascara helps open the eyes and cream blush that you can double up on your lips.” – Aimee Connolly
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